Private resources, the commitment of tourist destinations in terms of promotion
For the past few weeks, I have been addressing the issue of tourism promotion of the country brand Mexico and the enormous competition that the opening of international borders represents for this country, as well as the international promotional campaigns with which some countries are starting to execute and how this will affect us long term.
On this occasion it seemed most appropriate to touch on a topic that is closely related to my previous column and has to do with tourism promotion trusts and the Lodging Tax (ISH) in tourist destinations, whose initial purpose -which is tourism promotion – is being diverted due to political bureaucracy.
The lodging tax (ISH), which varies from 2% up to 5% in some states of the country, is being assigned to public infrastructure and social programs, with the justification that in Mexico there are areas where there is extreme poverty, Along with uneven economic and social growth, it is therefore necessary to use part of these resources to address social backwardness.
However, we know that tourism promotion is precisely one of the engines that generates that wealth from which the solution to these problems must start. So then, we are facing a vicious circle that does not allow us to move forward, since it is possible that with the resources obtained from the trusts not all the lags will be resolved, but it could affect tourism growth, already affected by the pandemic.
Given this, and despite the obstacles that destinations have had to face since the disappearance in 2018 of the Mexican Tourism Board (CPTM), we see that they have managed to survive, using various strategies to promote themselves internationally.
Some states and destinations decided to work together, or by regions, such as Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, while others saw fit to create private trusts; Such is the case of the Private Tourism Trust of Los Cabos, in Baja California Sur, which is the only one in the country that has a private investment scheme destined for specific promotion actions and which has become a success story that could well be replicated in other tourist destinations.
I believe that a good initiative would be to form a common front that allows the Private sector to strengthen itself as a union and stop depending, as far as possible, on public resources from the government.
Already in 2019 a group of tourism entrepreneurs from Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit had come together under this scheme. At that time, it was intended to create a private fund of over 2.5 million dollars, which would begin to be exercised at the beginning of 2020. The problem is that with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, this initiative had to be put on hold.
As things stand, it would be interesting to be able to resume this project –with the necessary adjustments in this new normality– that allows both destinations to develop strategies with specific promotion and commercial intelligence actions, or the creation of attractive products for tourists.
Such synergy would strengthen the image of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit abroad, they would be in a position to compete with other international destinations that are already deploying more aggressive promotional campaigns and, most importantly, they would have more resources to deal with the different types of crises that arise. Remember, unity is strength.
What do you think? Send me your comments.